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What the Pros Say: Peak of Fear Reached

CNBC.com
Monday, 20 Oct 2008 | 9:02 AM ET

Global stocks started the week with solid gains Monday as both South Korea and Sweden announced financial rescue packages.

But even with stock markets trading higher, investors' confidence in the markets is in question. CNBC's experts provide their views on market confidence and give investment guidance.

Peak of Fear Has Been Reached

It is still too early to call a market bottom but the peak of fear has been reached, says Bruno Verstraete, CEO of Nautilus Invest.

What Will Improve Investor Confidence?

Investor confidence will return once the spread between the Treasury and the overseas yield narrows, says Tat Auyeung, MD & fund manager at Apex Capital Management.

WALL STREET IN CRISIS - A CNBC SPECIAL REPORT
WALL STREET IN CRISIS - A CNBC SPECIAL REPORT

Asia May Be In for Some Tough Times Ahead

Unless Asia is able to shore up domestic demand, it will be in for a very difficult period, which could be much worse than the 1997 Asian financial crisis, warns Uwe Parpart, chief economist & strategist, Asia at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Asian Markets May Bottom Soon

Asian markets might be able to reach their bottoms within the next three months, forecasts Wong Sui Jau, GM of fundsupermart.com.

Bleak Outlook for Singapore's Property Market

Singapore's commercial property sector may see a lot more downside, says Chor Hoon Chua, senior research director at DTZ. She tells CNBC that commercial property rentals can fall as much as 60% over the next two to three years.

Hong Kong Stocks Present Good Long-Term Buys

Although the Hong Kong markets have yet to reach the bottom, Peter Lai, director at DBS Vickers Securities believes the country's stocks present good long-term buys.

Opportunities in Japan

Seijiro Takeshita, senior strategist at Mizuho International, sees good value and strong growth perspectives for Japanese stocks.

"In a longer term, I do believe that these are the times that one should be getting in," Takeshita said. "We should see a decoupling of the market with other Western markets as we see right now."

Back into Banks

Ian Morley, director at Quantum Investment Management, believes if you are brave, now is a good time to get back into banks as they are at currently valued at such low levels.

"When you look at some of these banks at the current prices, either they're out of business or they're not. My gut view is they're not," Morley said.

Look at Stocks that Survived the Depression

"Risk is as cheap as it has ever been in our investment experience, probably since 1929," John Haynes, strategist at Rensburg Sheppards said, adding that investors should look at stocks that got through the last depression in order to ride out this recession.

He suggests Coca-Cola and General Electric (GE is the parent company of CNBC).

Haynes is also "dipping his toe" in corporate credit at the highest tier.

Volatility Set to Ease

Stock-market volatility should decrease over the coming weeks, Nick Parsons from nabCapital Markets, told CNBC.

"I'm still not sure that's going to be enough to tempt real money investors back … but I think there is a chance that some of the wilder swings that we've seen in the last few weeks are unlikely to be repeated in the short term at least," Parsons said.

Buy Defensive Drug Stocks

The pharmaceutical sector will provide defensive growth going forward and should be considered ahead of other sectors, Christophe Eggmann from Julius Baer told CNBC Monday.

Switzerland's Roche has upside potential in terms of operating margins, while Novartis has more stability because of its defensive cash-flow generation, Eggmann said, adding that he prefers Roche.

Which Sectors Are Hot & Which Are Not

"If you look at the sectors, obviously financials are still toxic, you don't want to touch them," Jacob Schmidt, CEO of Schmidt Research Partners, said, adding that there is value in the mining, basic resource and technology sectors.

In the mining sector, Xstrata is totally oversold, therefore making it of good value, according to Schmidt.

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